Supporters applauded the possibility that the city of Brentwood might undertake a feasibility study regarding forming its own school system at the Brentwood City Commission meeting Monday.
Resident Grady Tabor represented a group of Brentwood parents at the meeting who want to see the city pursue a feasibility study to explore the possibility of a new school system in the city of Brentwood.
After independent research by Tabor and the group, he cited the future building and development is generated in other areas of county, not Brentwood, meaning “there is a fundamental funding gap between what Brentwood is contributing, and what we get back in return,” Tabor said.
The aging school buildings in Brentwood mean that “student capacity will be a priority over needs for renovations,” Tabor said.
Tabor also pointed out the higher home values in Brentwood could mean that if the county proposed a property tax increase, “we would feel the increase more than anyone else in the county because of our home values,” Tabor said.
Tabor clearly stated, “We as a group, like many in Brentwood, love Brentwood, Williamson County and our school system.”
Tabor explained that they spent many hours researching the possibility; along with having conversations with a consulting firm and a Shelby County superintendent of a newly-formed city school system.
“We feel as though we have enough information to justify the expenses the city would incur to begin the process of conducting a feasibility study,” Tabor said.
City commissioners favored some type of study, but did not endorse creating a new school system.
City commissioner Anne Dunn, a former teacher, shared her perspective.
“I usually think of starting a system when you’ve got a failing one you are trying to get away from, but they are interesting questions you have,” Dunn said. “I don’t mind ever looking at something like that, away from the heat of an election.”
City commissioner Rhea Little brought up the idea of a feasibility study a few months ago, after talking with concerned citizens and parents.
After intensive study on Little’s part, “a lot of the information [Tabor] found, that is what I found,” Little said.
“It is something our staff could undertake over a few months, so that it doesn’t cost the taxpayers a lot of additional funds,” Little suggested.
Vice Mayor Mark Gorman favors a study to move forward before making a decision.
“We need to do some type of study because I don’t have enough information, personally, to be able to make an informed decision,” Gorman said.
“It may be a good thing to do, perhaps not.”